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Meet the chef: Oli Marlow at Roganic

We chat to the 4-Rosette head chef at one of London's best dining locations

Now firmly established as the go-to London venue for foodies, Roganic acheived 4-Rosette status in September 2019. Oli Marlow's highly technical, precisely engineered dishes are a must-try.

What inspired you to become a chef?

OM: I was was inspired to become a chef when i realised from an early age how much pleasure I got from eating and found that cooking food can bring so much pleasure to others. I love the fact that in this industry you can never stop learning with the amount of cuisines and styles around the world. I’m constantly being inspired to keep going and experiencing others food and hospitality. I always knew being a chef would be exciting. 

What are the vital ingredients to a successful kitchen?

OM: For me a successful kitchen is built on 2 key ingredients. Having a clear goal or an ambition for what you want the establishment to achieve. Having a driven and passionate team. I believe If you employ passionate people and all people are pulling in the same  direction anything is possible.

What are your favourite foods and ingredients 

OM: My favourite food to eat in my own time would be simple delicious food. A good sandwich, pizza, burgers. The less fuss the better. My favourite ingredients to cook with are good shellfish. I feel with good shellfish you don’t have to do much to. The natural flavours are so incredible and unique. 

What's your favourite dish on the current menu and why?

OM: My favourite dish on the menu at the moment is a Tunworth cheese ice cream served with preserved black trumpet mushrooms and toasted hazelnuts. It’s a simple dish but has big bold flavours. Something we try to give all our dishes. As we believe flavour should always come first. Its also a dish with unique flavours. A dish that can hopefully challenge the guests pallets. 

Who are the chefs you admire most? Who has had the most influence on your cooking style?

OM: The chefs who i admire are all very passionate people. I believe people who have the most passion and care the most tend to go further in there profession. For that reason i admire Esben Bang of restaurant Maaemo, and of course Simon Rogan. Both chefs always put there restaurants first and would do anything to make there establishments better. 

Both these chefs also have had the biggest influence on my cooking style. Both putting the ingredient first, using Local produce and putting flavour first. Esben said to me once "Making a dish look good is easy. Making it taste delicious is the hard bit". 

What are the best places you have eaten at recently? 

OM: I have been lucky enough to eat at number 8 in Maccau. A modern Cantonese restaurant. That was cuisine and style I have not eaten before and it blew me away. In the UK my favourite recent meals would have to be blacklock in SoHo. Or for a special occasion Dinner by Heston. I have a sweet tooth and there deserts are the best. 

An edited version of this interview first appeared in the AA Restaurant Guide 2020.

Find out more about Roganic on Rated Trips.